School of Arts

  • Bob Beeton

    Bob Beeton

    My time at Brookes gave me a good grounding in the wide and diverse world of working within music technology and the media industry as a whole. I think it’s quite important to have a wider appreciation of all aspects of working within media, as your aspirations and chosen career path may change as you progress - one can always have ones eyes opened to something new. In addition to the academic side, I personally found getting involved with societies and events gave me some great experiences and allowed me to practice and hone my technical skills. I was lucky enough to be employed by the BBC after leaving Brookes - there were over 1000 people who applied for 10 positions. I wouldn’t have succeeded in getting one of those positions if I didn’t have Brookes Radio and a few other relevant societies on my CV.

    After spending a few years at the BBC working in live television, I decided to move to Solid State Logic - manufacturers of high-end mixing consoles and recording studio hardware. I get to travel the world commissioning and working on systems in broadcasting, recording studios, theatres and live venues, as well as training operators and engineers on the systems.

    My advice to students coming to Brookes - learn as much as you can, ask as many questions as you can, get involved with as many things as you can and take advantage of the facilities available to you. There are lots of good people around you, staff and students. Make the most of it.

    Katherine Cox

    Katherine Cox

    Oxford has a vibrant multi-cultural student community and there is so much going on in both Brookes and in the city besides the numerous musical opportunities. The choice of modules really allowed me to mould the course to my own particular interests and needs. I felt able to express myself as an individual and to tackle the course in the way that suited me, with the support and guidance of the staff. I enjoyed playing in the orchestra and singing in chamber choir. I also got heavily involved with the various choral and solo opportunities in Oxford itself.

    I would definitely recommend the course particularly for students who are creative and individual thinkers, but need guidance to steer them in the right direction to get the most out of their musical abilities.

    I am now Sponsorship Manager at the Royal Opera House. This involves gaining sponsorship from all sorts of different companies, from luxury brands like Rolex and Tiffany’s through to large city financial companies. It’s continually varied and challenging, giving me great scope for creative and innovative thinking. I felt continually supported and encouraged by the Brookes music staff who gave their time willingly, helping me tackle the projects that I found challenging or overwhelming, and nurturing me as an individual.

    Hui M Chan

    Duncan Lee

    Since leaving Brookes I have continued to grow my music education business. While studying music at Brookes I started my music education business as a sole trader one-man band under the name of Dunx Drum School. When my brother moved nearby together we formed XYZ Music Academy LTD. We now run a team of twelve staff teaching across thirteen schools and two private teaching locations in Buckinghamshire. Alongside this we run a state of the art recording studio and rehearsal room facility where we record artists incorporating our wide ranging musical knowledge to session on any project that comes in. Our long term goal is to launch our recently recorded curriculum via our subscription based website. We aim to utilise our current status on YouTube with over 7,000 subscribers and over 3 million views. This will be the next stage for our business and help to grow our presence throughout Buckinghamshire and into surrounding counties, and hopefully countries!

    One thing that I picked up from Brookes in particular, was how to stay pro-active around your modules while making the course work for your long term plans. For example, my professional practice module was spent developing a part to my drum tuition curriculum. I use this in my everyday teaching and it keeps my students focused on long term goals.

    Always try to see past your degree and appreciate the time you have, immerse yourself in the subject and a way of life which you can maintain, providing you have the right plan.

    Anna Neale

    Anna Neale

    I started working professionally in the music industry during my first year at Brookes, but it wasn't until my third year that I really found my feet and discovered that songwriting was something I'd like to pursue.

    Fifteen years later I'm proud to say I'm still going and making a living from songwriting, composing, session work, voice over work and lecturing. I've toured the world, worked with musicians as diverse as the English National Opera, Procol Harum and countless world musicians, released three albums and two EP's independently, won awards and written for other artists, which I continue to do.

    I can’t say I would have discovered this journey without the enthusiasm of my lecturers, especially Dai. His passion and love of songwriting encouraged me to push myself and follow my dream. I like to think I've completed the circle by encouraging others to pursue their dream in my role as a lecturer in songwriting at the University of Kent & Hertfordshire.

    Rheanne Sanders

    Rheanne Sanders

    I knew the I wanted to go to university to study music when I started my A levels and was seriously considering a career as a music teacher. The thing that struck me about the music department at Brookes, and what ultimately led me to put this as my first choice was; firstly the personal and supportive atmosphere within the music department and the university. It offered so many sources of student support and all of the lecturers seemed to know so much about the students on their course, which was not the case in some of the other universities I went to see. Secondly they seemed to offer a really eclectic range of units, which was perfect for me as a musician and essential for a career in music education.

    I really enjoyed my time at Brookes and still remember some of the lectures and seminars there. The professional practice unit and the 'student associate scheme' allowed me to gain work experience in secondary school music departments. When my degree was about to finish I applied to study a PGCE, also at Brookes, and thanks in large part to the work experience I had gained I was accepted onto the course.

    I applied to start teaching the following September and was given a job at the Bicester School. The department had not had permanent staff for some time and music opportunities for students were lacking. I, along with the creative arts faculty, worked very hard for a number of years to increase instrumental lessons, improve the provision for students at KS4 and 5 and provide some amazing shows and concerts. After 3 years I was promoted to Lead in subject, and I now manage the music department. This includes the curriculum and lesson content for students, instrumental lesson provision, and extracurricular activities and concerts. I absolutely love my job and regularly talk to my sixth form students about my experience at university, which ultimately allowed me to get to where I am now.